How to transfer accounts from DirectAdmin from cPanel manually

I am in the process of shutting down one of my old dedicated servers to a series of VPS accounts and was having some difficulty in getting this completed. The old server has DirectAdmin while the new virtual private servers are powered by cPanel. Due to the fact that these sites are rather large, I kept getting an SSH timeout error when trying to use cPanel’s built in account transfer tools. This could also have been caused by a legitimate SSH connection error.

As I have root access to both servers, I was able to use SSH to accomplish the transfers manually. Here’s how you can do it as well…

Log in to your old hosting account using your root credentials via SSH using Putty or another client.

Navigate to your home directory by entering “cd /home/

Package the account for transfer using “/scripts/pkgacct accountname” where the account name is the name assigned to the particular user in your DirectAdmin panel. This will create a file that can be imported into cPanel to set up things on your new hosting account.


Your next step is to transfer the packaged account to somewhere you can grab it easily. If it’s not sensitive material, you can always move it to a public_html directory on the server. For instance, using the “mv cpmove-accountname.tar.gz /home/accountname/public_html/” will move it to the root directory of the website in question. If I’m transferring a site in this manner, I will generally create a directory on the server that is random characters that can easily be deleted once the transfer is completed.

Once you’ve put it somewhere you can grab it, log in to your root account on your new server and navigate to the home directory by entering “cd /home/”

Now it’s time to transfer the packaged account to your new server. This can be achieved by entering “wget”. You will be able to watch the progress of the transfer as it happens and be notified of any errors. Once it’s complete, either move or delete the file from the old server to eliminate any chance of someone discovering and downloading your site package.

Finally, log in to your new cPanel account and navigate to Backup >> Restore a Full Backup/cpmove File. As you’ve transferred the cpmove file to your /home/ directory your account should be located in the section titled “Possible cpmove archives found:”.

Hope this helps!

2 thoughts on “How to transfer accounts from DirectAdmin from cPanel manually

  1. Mahmoud Zavaree

    Dear Chris
    i am Mahmoud from iran.
    I very much appreciate your help text., I’ve spent 2 full days to do it., After reading, you could do so.
    Thank you so much.

  2. Chris Post author

    Hi Mahmoud,
    You’re very welcome and glad I was able to help.
    All the best!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *